Thieves have stolen a safe from popular burger restaurant Newy Burger Co full of fundraising money destined for a Hunter family whose seven-year-old boy is battling leukemia .
The robbery took place at the burger chain’s Maitland business, situated inside The Grand Junction Hotel on Church Street, sometime between Tuesday night and Thursday morning.
Newy Burger Co owner Ben Neil said staff only discovered the safe was missing on Thursday, when they arrived to prepare for the week’s trade.
He confirmed the safe had takings and cash floats, as well as money raised through ongoing fundraising at the restaurant.
Much of the money lost was to support the Ransom family, whose son Kane is fighting Leukemia and has been supported by the burger chain for the past few years.
“I think when anyone steals from you, it’s the lowest form of anything that anyone could ever do,” he said.
“The rest of us have got to work for our money, and pay our staff and things like that, so for anyone to come in and take a portion of that, it certainly hurts.
“The fundraising stuff is probably the biggest kicker. There’s a family that benefits to a small degree of just a little bit of assistance, and we’ve lost that.
“That’s the hard thing, we do what we can do for charity, and to have that taken away is the part that hurts the most.”
Mr Neil didn’t reveal the amount of cash lost, but said the stolen safe was of a size that an individual would struggle to walk away with on their own.
He said nothing else appeared to be taken from his business, or The Grand Junction Hotel which the restaurant is located in.
As word spread on social media and over radio on Friday morning, Mr Neil said the business had been inundated with support from loyal customers.
With supporters vowing to re-raise the donated money, Mr Neil hoped the thieves might have a change of heart and return the cash.
“If nothing else, maybe it gets out there and if they [thieves] felt sort of enough conscious to return that portion of it, that would be something special,” he said.
Port Stephens-Hunter Police are investigating the incident.